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. Welshmen Known in London.—XIV.…
Welshmen Known in London.—XIV. Mr. Llewelyn Williams, M.P. IT is the boast of Carmarthenshire that she has had more men of note than any county in Wales. Be that as it may the Land of Myrddin can rightly say that no other Welsh county will see as many of her sons in the next Parliament as she will. Of one or two of these we have given sketches in these columns already. This week we have the pleasure of telling our readers something about another of the suc- cessful band,, whose home has been in London for the last ten years, and who last Wednesday succeeded in winning a notable victory within the very county of his birth. The new member for Llanelly and Carmarthen is A Son of Nonconformity. He was born on March ioth, 1867, at a charming old farmhouse called Brown Hill, in the parish of Llansadwrn, in the Vale of Towy. H is father, Mr. Morgan Williams, was descended from one of the oldest Nonconformist families in the county, and for many years Brown Hill was known for the hospitality it afforded to preachers of the Gospel. Two of Mr. Morgan Williams' brothers were in the Congregational ministry-the Rev. John Williams, of Newcastle Emlyn, and the Rev. Benjamin Williams, of Swansea. The first named was one of the most eloquent and popular preachers of his day, and a leader in political and social reform move- ments. On the maternal' side as well, Mr. Llewelyn Williams' ancestors were sturdy Non- conformists. His grandfather, Mr. Thomas Williams, of Bankylan, Llansadwrn, is still alive, a hale and hearty old man of 88, and one of the oldest deacons in the Calvinistic Methodist Connexion. At Llandovery and Oxford. Mr. Morgan Williams decided to give his son the best education he could afford, and after a few years at the Elementary school, he spent a short time at Watcyn Wyn's Academy, at Llan- gadock, from where he proceeded to the College, Llandovery, an institution that has given a good start in life to many a Vale of Towy lad. Llewelyn Williams remained at Llandovery for six years, making the best use of his advantages, and giving promise of a brilliant career. In 1885, he won an open scholarship in modern history and entered Brasenose College, Oxford. During his undergraduate period he won the Bridgman Prize for a historical essay, and took high honours in the final school. Later on he graduated B.C.L. But Mr. Llewelyn Williams is indebted to Oxford for much more than his scholarship and culture. Strange as it may sound, it was Oxford that made him a Welsh patriot. Among the undergraduates at that time there were a number of young Welshmen who met together regularly to discuss Welsh literature and Welsh nationality. We are not quite sure if the late Tom Ellis had left Oxford when Mr. Williams went there, but whether he had or not, his influence remained, and the young Welshmen among whom the lad from the Vale of Towy found himself were hot patriots. They dreamed dreams and saw visions of the Wales that was to be, and by the shrine of "Dafydd ap Gwilym" consecrated themselves to the service of the mother land. Wales has heard a great deal of many of those men since that time, and their achievements on her behalf has endeared them to all her people. Journalism and Letters. After leaving Oxford, Mr. Llewelyn Williams took to journalism. He began as editor of a W. LLEWELYN WILLIAMS, M.A., M.P. Liberal weekly at Barry. In 1892, he became the first editor of the South Wales Daily Post, which he conducted as a Radical and Welsh Nationalist organ. In 1894, he became assistant editor of the South Wales Daily News. But his connection with that enterprising paper did not last very long, for in January, 1895, he was appointed chief sub-editor of the Star, the well known London evening newspaper. This position he held for just two years, when he relinquished it upon being called to the Bar. But his love for literature has not by any means waxed cold. He contributes frequently to the columns of various papers and periodicals, and his articles on forgotten Welsh worthies have secured him a place in the front rank of writers upon Welsh historical subjects. Those which appeared in the Cymmrodor were of especial value and showed that their writer possessed the true genius for history. He has also written two Welsh novels, Gwilym a Beni Bach," and Gwr y Dolau," which have had considerable vogue, and our readers will remember that a series of short stories from his pen appeared in these columns in the early months of 1905. The Cobden Club commissioned him to write on-" The Tinplate Industry under Free Trade," and his statements of the case have proved of great value in the fiscal controversy. Mr. Llewelyn Williams was Called to the Bar in January, 1897, and since then has devoted himself to law. He joined the South Wales Circuit, and has a growing practice. He has appeared in several notable cases, such as the Tynemouth Licensing Appeal, and the Penrhyn Libel Action, cases which had a political as well as a legal aspect. He also represented the Carmarthenshire County Council at the Educa- tion Inquiry held last year, and his speech on be- half of the Council was warmly complimented by Mr. Commissioner (now Mr. Justice) Lawrence. But it is as a politician and patriot that this energetic and tireless Welshman is chiefly known. He is in the best sense of the words A Welsh Nationalist, full of fervour, with unshakeable belief that his country has a mission to fulfil in the future history of the world. At the start of his career he was considered a very extreme, if not a dangerous, young man, but time has shown that he was not far from being right. When editor of the Barry paper, he organised a protest against the appointment of non-Welsh speaking lawyers as County Court Judges in Wales, an agitation that led to the removal of Mr. Cecil Beresford to an English Circuit. Later on he was one of the founders and hon. secretary of the Cymru Fydd League," which has since developed into the Welsh National Federation. During the visit of the Welsh Land Commission he organised the Welsh Farmers' Defence League, and was publicly thanked by the chairman, Lord Carrington, at Carmarthen, for the service he had rendered that Commission. In London, he is in every Welsh movement, and no Welsh meeting, especially if it be of a national character is considered complete if he be absent from it. His services to Wales and her people have been many in the past, his country hopes for great things from him in the future. Now that he is in Parliament, he will have many new oppor- tunities of proving that the spirit of Prince Rhys, of South Wales, whom he admires so much, is still inspiring the sons of Towy to great deeds of valour and patriotism.